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University of Colombo introduces ‘Diploma Programme in Technology of Waste Management’

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A one-year ‘Diploma Programme in Technology of Waste Management’ by the University of Colombo was introduced back in 2022. The graduation ceremony of the first batch of Diplomates was held with forty graduates being awarded the Diploma, with the participation of multi-stakeholders including District and Provincial Level Local Government Authorities, Academics, and development partner organizations.

The ‘Diploma in Technology of Waste Management’, is a UGC-approved diploma programme. It was initiated through the European Union (EU) funded Capacity Development for Local Governments (CDLG) project implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka, in partnership with the University of Colombo, Uva Provincial Council and the Western Province Waste Management Authority.

Governor of Uva Province A.J.M. Muzammil stated; “The capacity-building initiative, focused on enhancing waste management practices within the local authorities of the Uva Provincewas led by the CDLG project, and has played a pivotal role in initiating a range of waste management initiatives. These endeavours have not only fostered a proactive response to the challenges posed by rapid urbanization and tourism development in the province, butthey are also crucial to our commitment to environmental preservation, specifically in safeguarding our invaluable water sources for long-term sustainability.”

UNDP in Sri Lanka Officer-In-Charge Malin Herwig stated; “The graduation ceremony not only celebrates the academic excellence of the 41 Diplomates but also recognizes the power of collaboration and innovation in addressing some of the most pressing challenges that exist in our society. This programme is a testament to the remarkable partnership between the EU, UNDP, the Uva Provincial Council, the University of Colombo, and the Western Province Waste Management Authority. Such collaborative efforts are not only essential for environmental protection but also to advance the broader agenda of sustainable development.”

The Diploma is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka and is designed to build the capacity of local Government officials to enhance their technical knowledge in solid waste management to support innovative action in controlling waste, thereby supporting environmental sustainability, sustainable revenue generation and greener cities in future.

Delegation of the European Union in Sri Lanka and the Maldives Head of Cooperation Johann Hesse said; “The EU is happy to support the development in war affected and lagging behind provinces, improve coordination in local service delivery, and promote economic opportunities, inclusiveness, and social cohesion in Sri Lanka. We are therefore pleased to see that our Strengthening Transformation, Reconciliation and Inclusive Democratic Engagement (STRIDE) Programme, implemented by UNDP is delivering important results.”

Department of Rural Development of Uva Province Director Bhagya Kodithuwakku stated, “I was deeply inspired by the innovative concept of the ‘Kasala Pola’ (Garbage Market) introduced by the students of the Diploma in Technology of Waste Management. This initiative not only provides people with an opportunity to earn income from various types of waste but also prevents the indiscriminate dumping of garbage in our environment.”

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